Is THE BLAIR WITCH Heading to Television?
In 1999, The Blair Witch Project knocked the world for a loop. The follow-up, Book of Shadows, couldn’t catch lightning in a bottle twice unfortunately and it would be over for 15 years until we revisited the Burkittsville to uncover the deeper secrets and mysteries of Rustin Parr and what happened to Heather's original crew. After we discovered that the secret production, The Woods, would actually be the third official Blair Witch movie, cries of thanks echoed through the horror community. We were told it was going to change the face of horror, but through these early accounts and reviews, I think it collectively got the communities hopes up too much; Blair Witch failed to reach the same heights of the first film (on a fraction of the budget) yet again. So will we ever get a worthy successor to the groundbreaking original?
Ed Sanchez was recently featured on the Diminishing Returns podcast where he sat down with the hosts to discuss all things Blair Witch and he gave the world this tasty little morsel:
“We developed a few different Blair Witch sequels... We developed all this mythology. as we were developing we thought “Wow it would be cool to do a Rustin Parr movie, do it in the 1940s and shoot it in black and white, and it was nothing more than just kind of an idea….A few years ago we developed a modern day sequel, developed the sequel, and, you know, people really liked it! But it was too expensive. It was not going to be a two or three million dollar movie, it was going to be a legitimate $10 million movie. So that kinda went away. We have a ton of ideas, we have ideas for Blair Witch TV shows, but you know we don't own it so we’re kind of at a mercy of Lionsgate.”
While I’m a million times more curious about this unproduced sequel that Sanchez and Myrick pitched, I know a Blair Witch TV show will whet everyone’s appetite for more Black Hills madness. The last time genre TV presented found footage, it was in the gone-too-soon ABC drama The River from Oren Peli doing his best impression of J.J. Abrams. While the show was impressive–and featured a talented creative team with the likes of Jamue Collet-Serra (The Shallows) and Michael R. Perry (American Gothic, The Dead Zone)–it failed to capture audiences. But Blair Witch could catch fire if they play their cards right as it already has a built-in fanbase and audiences are more voracious for genre stories in this new renaissance of television.
Sanchez went on: “Well, you know, I can’t really discuss,” he trailed off. “I think that the idea of a Blair Witch anthology has always been very – just a really interesting thing. You’re close. You’re in the ballpark. You know, and I think it might be one of those things that might be – you know – the more you think about it, you’re like, ‘That might be the perfect… a TV show.’ You know?"
While this is all just postulating, it’s great to hear that the world of Blair Witch is still one that is very much alive in the creator’s minds. And while there is nothing solid here to say if there will or won’t be a TV show, Myrick surmised the future of the Black Hills quite astutely: “It’s inevitable. I think it’s a brand that will keep inspiring people.”